Seasons 1915-1919
original illustrations of the kits worn during the season

Change Kit

Seasons in brief

1915/16: Ostensibly the games in the regional Leagueswere friendlies, points were not awarded and there were no trophies or medals, although newspaperscontinued to publish 'unofficial' League tables. United played in the Lancashire Section. A main competition between 14 clubs was held between September and February, United finishing 11th. In the smaller six team subsidiary tournament, held in March and April, the club finishing bottom. Jack Mew, Cyril Barlow and Alf Davies all became first team regulars at Old Trafford. Davies moved to Bolton Wanderers at the end of the season, one of the few transfers between League clubs during the War. On December 23rd Sandy Turnbull, Arthur Whalley and Enoch West, along with four Liverpool players and L Cook of Chester, were all banned sine die by the Football League Commission for their part in fixing the result of United's game against Liverpool on Good Friday 1915. In January 1916 the League announced the match result would stand, confirming United's First Division status when the League resumed.

1916/17: In September J J Bentley, in poor health, resigned from his position as Secretary, with Jack Robson assuming the responsibility. United looked to the local non League sides to bolster their diminishing playing staff. Jack Silcock, from Atherton FC, Tommy Forster, from Northwich Victoria, and Clarence 'Lal' Hilditch, from Altrincham, all became first team regulars. The club finished 7th in the 16 team Lancashire Section Principal Tournament, and 4th in the Subsidiary Tournament. In August 1916 United's pre war right back, Oscar Linkson, was killed during the Somme offensive. Patrick McGuire, an amateur that had been in the sides reserve team, was also killed in 1916. In May 1917 Sandy Turnbull was killed in action at Arras in France. His sine die suspension was lifted posthumously by the Football League in June 1919 as recognition of his service for the country.

1917/18: In June 1917 United signed Tommy Meehan, a twenty year old inside forward from Rochdale. He marked his début in the opening day fixture at Blackburn by scoring in United's 5-0 win. Two former United players, Frank Buckley and Ted Connor, returned to Old Trafford as 'guests', playing most of the games in 1917/18. United finished 8th of 16 in both the Principal and Secondary Tournaments.

1918/19: The Armistice, signed on November 11th 1918, finally brought an end to the First World War. Football's regional structure remained in place to allow clubs to prepare for the resumption of professional football and the players to return to their clubs. The League lifted the suspensions on all of the players involved in the Easter 1915 match fixing scandal, with the exception of Enoch West, who had maiintained his innocence and brought an unsuccessful libel action. United finished 9th in the Principal Tournament and third (of 4) in Section C of the Subsidiary Tournament.